9 Key Aspects to Consider for Control Room Design

9 Key Aspects to Consider for Control Room Design

A control room plan can have a huge overall impact on your operation. Per the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, “If all U.S. data centers were 20% more efficient, we could save more than 20 billion kWh by 2020 as a nation.” Thanks to technological innovation, control rooms have evolved over the years and are more efficient than ever. Modern control rooms are designed to support different budgets, workflows, operational requirements, environments, and safety requirements. Take a step in the right direction by equipping your control room with the best furniture, layout, lighting, and more—these are all key aspects to consider for control room design.

Total Costs

A lot of planning goes into designing control rooms. One of the biggest aspects of planning is calculating the total costs of the improvements or advancements you’re planning on making. Figuring out what fits within the budget of your operations is a good start to creating your vision. Consider the cost of the consoles, hardware, lighting, construction, and screens to the best of your ability so that you’re well prepared.

Wellness

Employees’ well-being and health play a big role in design. Control rooms require intense, important work that can be very tedious, so comfort is key in designing the perfect control room. You’ll want to try your best to reduce the negative effects that operators can experience, including eye strain, fatigue, stress, anxiety, neck pain, limited knee and foot space, and more. These can have huge effects on your employees and your operations if you don’t take them into consideration while planning your control room.

Ergonomic furniture, which includes pieces such as standing desks and ergonomically designed 24 hour rated chairs, can increase productivityand create a better working environment. A healthy control room design with ergonomic furniture improves overall employee morale and keeps performance high and efficient.

Centralization

Centralization is another key aspect to consider in control center design. While some operational teams may be scattered across different locations, centralization brings all the different branches of a team together in one location. This allows for easy communication and collaboration between the different operations. Overseeing the same information in one control room where everyone is available to one another creates a faster system. Designing a control room with centralization in mind can decrease cost, since you’ll only have one room to furnish. Keep all your operators in mind, and make sure they have enough space to effectively do their jobs.

Advanced Digital Displays

Good displays are another critical aspect of an efficient control room design. All the important information is displayed on monitors, which is why you’ll want to have multiple monitors in a room and make sure they’re visible to the appropriate people. Having your workers sit in rows can limit visibility, which is why many organizations are customizing their digital displays. This will require more screens, but the probability of error decreases with this design choice. You should also consider the various details of your displays, such as the size and whether or not they have touch capabilities. Also, try to keep display content such that operators spend approximately 70% of their time looking at the 1st tier displays, 20% on the 2nd tier display, and 10% or less on the 3rd tier screens.

Safety

When designing the best control room for your organization, you’ll want to keep safety precautions in mind. The first thing you should do is incorporate a safe emergency exit into the design of your organization’s control room. You should also lay out the room in a way that allows employees to exit the room in a safe and organized manner in the case of an emergency. The room should also have alarms to warn employees of emergencies.

Efficiency

You should also keep efficiency in mind in order to optimize your control room for your operation. Easy access to monitors, mouses, and keyboards should be a primary goal, and data should be displayed so that operators can see all the information clearly without obstruction. An efficient work environment will establish a smooth workflow, and this comes directly from the room’s layout.

Floor Layout

You have many different options to optimize the layout of your control room for success. Find a layout that’ll best fit your daily operations within the space. Also keep in mind the aforementioned emergency exit strategy. Try taking inspiration from other control rooms you feel your organization would be able to emulate for your own operations. Some floor layouts to consider include:

•             three units of consoles side by side

•             three units back to back

•             two units side by side

•             two units face to face

•             one unit row by row across the room

The great thing about designing your own control room is the flexibility. It’s critical to establish an effective layout that’ll encourage collaboration, communication, and proactive operations. Keep in mind that privacy panels can be added to any control room furniture tier or wedge to reduce operator distraction from traffic behind the control room furniture units.

Lighting

Lighting in control rooms can be tricky. Some control rooms operate 24/7, and lighting can vary: some spaces have multiple lights or just one light, windows or no windows at all. Natural light is said to improve productivity and reduce eye strain, so that may be an option in your planning. Ambient light, which is typically placed around consoles in a dark setting, can also improve comfort in a control room. This is a great option because it’s easier on your eyes than a room full of white light bulbs. You might have a situation where having no windows is needed to minimize distractions. Dimmable lighting can also be a very effective option, too, by allowing the ability to adjust brightness levels at any time of the day.

Consoles

The type of consoles with which you’ll fill your room can vary based on the industry and applications. ImageVision offers all-steel consoles in a variety of different styles through the following product lines:

•             AgileVIEW

•             AgileVIEW Series 2

•             AbleVIEW

•             ErgonomicVIEW

•             ErgonomicVIEW Series 2

Ideally, you’ll want to invest in consoles with multiple monitors and secure storage. You could also choose a more ergonomic option with better mobility. Again, the type of console you choose should be based on the work your organization provides.

When designing a control room, you’ll have plenty of factors to consider to make your workplace the best it can be. By considering various design options, you’ll be able to create the control room of your dreams and keep operations running smoothly and effectively for many years to come.

Consider for Control Room Design Information